Three-Car Pile Up Shuts Down Highway 169 In Tulsa

Sunday, August 25th 2013, 10:58 am
By: Dee Duren

Tulsa Police say a three-car pileup on northbound Highway 169 near 21st Street diverted traffic for over an hour early Sunday. Officers were called to the scene when one car rear-ended another that was changing lanes.

A third car then hit both vehicles.

"One person was stating that they saw another vehicle accelerating at a high rate of speed behind them and as they were trying to get out of the way; that's when the other vehicle bumped into them," said Sergeant Steve Stoltz of the Tulsa Police Department.

Stoltz said it appeared the driver of Chrysler Pacifica SUV changed lanes to get out of the way of a Chevy S-10 pickup which changed lanes at about the same time.

"Before they could have the 'Holy Smoke' moment and stomp on the brakes, they'd already bumped," he said.

Those two vehicles went into the center concrete barrier in the middle of the highway. Soon after, a Grand Am hit the pickup and spun into the SUV.

Fortunately there were only minor injuries.

"The damage to the vehicles looked really bad but that's because all the vehicles were involved multiple times. So far, everybody's asked not to be transported to the hospital, but they're probably going to be sore in the morning," Stoltz said.

Police were still in the preliminary stages of investigating the wreck and weren't sure what if any citations might be issued.

Having more time to react might have saved these drivers from the wreck, Stoltz said.

"When you're driving - especially at night - you need to be looking 20 or 30 seconds down the roadway which is roughly equivalent to a quarter of a mile, because you need that much reaction time based on your speed," he said.

"When you're following another vehicle, make sure you maintain a distance of three or four seconds, unless it's bad weather, and then you want to extend it."